Nigerian Convicted Of Drug Trafficking In Cambodia Gets 27 Years Imprisonment
A Nigerian drug convict in Cambodia , Precious
Chineme Nwoko has had his hope for reprieve
Nwoko, also known as Precious Max and linked
with several Australian women arrested for being
his mules , was sentenced to 27 years
imprisonment in 2014 .
His hope for reprieve was dashed by a Cambodian
appeals court on Tuesday .
The court upheld his prison term, ruling that it
was appropriate and in accordance with Cambodia
The court also upheld the prison terms slammed
on a Frenchwoman , and Australian.
The trio were all convicted for trying to smuggle
heroin to Australia .
Judge Pol Sam Ouen said the sentences given by
the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in May 2014 to
then-19-year-old Frenchwoman Charlene Savarino,
41-year-old Ann Yoshe Taylor of Australia and 23-
year-old Precious Nwoko of Nigeria were correct.
The lower court had sentenced Savarino to 25
years in prison, Taylor to 23 years and Nwoko to
Savarino and Taylor were arrested in September
2013 at Phnom Penh International Airport after
police found 2.2 kilograms (4.8 pounds) of heroin
in Taylor’s luggage as they prepared to fly together
Nwoko, Savarino’s boyfriend, was believed to have
masterminded the smuggling and asked Savarino to
make the arrangements.
Cambodia is not a major producer of illegal drugs
but has increasingly become a smuggling transit
Khieu Vann, the lawyer for Taylor, told reporters
that the appeals court’s decision was an
injustice and that he would consult with his
client to see if she wished to appeal to the
Asked today by journalists why he used dating
scams to turn women into drug mules, Nwoko
became enraged, according to a report by
Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald
“Are you stupid? Get out of here. You think you
can come here and ask questions while I am
jail,” he shouted at Luke McMahon, a Melbourne
writer who has revealed Taylor’s plight in an
exclusive story for Fairfax Media.
Nwoko, who is known as Precious Max, had
posed as a successful South African
businessman in Phnom Penh when he befriended
Taylor on the internet. She became romantically
involved with him after he had paid for her
airfare to Cambodia.
On September 18, 2013, Nwoko asked Taylor, who
was due to fly back to Australia, to take a
backpack full of samples for an arts and crafts
business in which he claimed to have an
She hadn’t made it to the check-in counter when
police swooped and found about two kilograms of
heroin in the backpack.
Nwoko was arrested soon after.
Australian police are investigating a growing
number of internet scams targeting Australians in
south-east Asian countries, including Cambodia,
where Nwoko is believed to be still operating
scams, from his jail cell, targeting Australian
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